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World J Emerg Med. 2016;7(1):65-7. doi: 10.5847/wjem.j.1920-8642.2016.01.012.

The Chikungunya virus: An emerging US pathogen.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, Lehigh Valley Hospital, USF Morsani College of Medicine, PA 18103, USA.
Department of Medicine, Lehigh Valley Hospital, USF Morsani College of Medicine, PA 18103, USA.



The Chikungunya (CHIK) virus was recently reported by the CDC to have spread to the United States. We report an early documented case of CHIK from the state of Pennsylvania after a patient recently returned from Haiti in June of 2014.


A 39-year-old man presented to the emergency department complaining of fever, fatigue, polyarthralgias and a diffuse rash for two days. Four days before, he returned from a mission trip to Haiti and reported that four of his accompanying friends had also become ill. A CHIK antibody titer was obtained and it was found to be positive. During his hospital stay, he responded well to supportive care, including anti-inflammatories, intravenous hydration and anti-emetics.


His condition improved within two days and he was ultimately discharged home.


Manifestations of CHIK can be similar to Dengue fever, which is transmitted by the same species of mosquito, and occasionally as a co-infection. Clinicians should include Chikungunya virus in their differential diagnosis of patients who present with fever, polyarthralgia and rash with a recent history of travel to endemic areas, including those within the United States.


Arbovirus; Chikungunya virus; Mosquito-borne disease; Polyarthralgia

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